Is CNBC Sports Betting Star a Fraud? Experts Think So

Sports Betting FraudThe press release for CNBC’s upcoming reality show “Money Talks” refers to Steve Stevens, its star, as a well-known handicapper in the sports betting community. Experts of the community, however, claim otherwise. In fact, one former oddsmaker, Todd Fuhrman, has gone as far as to suggest that no one has ever even heard of the man before in their lives.

What Gives?

A red flag was raised in the sports betting community when the website for Stevens’ business, VIP Sports Las Vegas, was discovered. The issue at hand? Stevens claims on his website that he has a winning percentage of 71.5%, a rate which, as any handicapper knows, is virtually impossible to keep up. In fact, the odds of anyone winning 70% of their bets against the spread are over a trillion to one. To give some context, Bob Voulgaris, widely considered to be one of the most successful handicappers in the world, is the owner of a winning percentage of only 57%.

So, Who Is This Guy?

It is widely agreed upon in the community that Steve Stevens is a scam artist. But, if no one has ever heard of the guy before, who is he really? Some prominent minds in the sports betting community think they have figured it out: an ex-felon whose real name is Darin Notaro.

The domain name for VIP Sports Las Vegas is a relatively new one, only being registered about eight months ago, under the name Darin Notaro, who has supposedly been involved in telemarketing scams for over a decade and spent a year in prison as well. Photographs of this Darin Notaro character have been dug up and compared with Stevens, revealing quite an uncanny resemblance.

What Now?

The issue is unlikely to affect CNBC. It might even, perhaps, give the show an extra push of publicity. The network has mentioned that it does not condone Stevens or his business; it merely wants to give its audience an inside look at the life of a handicapper. For Stevens, it likely means the beginning of the end for his business, but a new world of opportunities may arise in the future, regardless of his credibility, or lack thereof.

Most importantly, for sports bettors, it reaffirms the importance of due diligence and only doing business with credible websites. As with just about anything, if it seems like it is too good to be true, it probably is.